Leicester City vs Brighton - Stowell demands Leicester push for top seven

Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2019 by PA

Leicester City vs Brighton - Stowell demands Leicester push for top seven

Interim manager Mike Stowell has challenged Leicester to get themselves back in contention for a top-seven finish.

The first team and goalkeeper coach has been placed in temporary charge, along with fellow first-team coach Adam Sadler, following Claude Puel’s dismissal.

Puel was dismissed on Sunday morning, hours after a 4-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace – Leicester’s sixth in their last seven matches.

That run has seen them knocked out of the FA Cup by Newport while slipping to 12th in the Premier League, eight points above the relegation zone.

“I’ve spoken to the players and told them how good they are and reminded them that they are a top-seven team. That’s where we should be and that’s where we should be aiming to get back to,” said Stowell at his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Brighton.

“It’s good that there is a game coming up so quickly but the players are professional and that’s the focus. They know they need to step up and go again against Brighton.”

Asked if he thought the players needed reminding because he thought they had let Puel down, Stowell said: “It’s always sad when a manager loses his job but I wouldn’t say that the players let him down. When mistakes happen they are not made deliberately.”

Brighton boss Chris Hughton sympathised with Puel ahead of his side’s trip to the King Power Stadium.

“The managerial departure shows how difficult this job is,” he said.

“Things change very quickly – you always feel for the manager because he would have put in a lot of hard work.

“We don’t know what the reaction will be but we know they’re a very good side.”

Hughton admits Brighton’s position is in danger of becoming perilous following their own poor run.

The Seagulls looked secure at the turn of the year but have picked up just one point from five matches and now find themselves hovering three points above the relegation zone.

“We’ve gone from what some perceived as a good position in the league to being on the back of three disappointing results,” said Hughton at his pre-match press conference.

“Those are the facts and we need to start picking up points. We’re still in the FA Cup and that’s a plus for the club and the side. We have to show character now to come through this period.

“The emphasis doesn’t change, though. We know what we need to do to start getting points.

“This group is positive and we know we’ve been doing plenty of things well.”

Glenn Murray and Lewis Dunk should be back in the Brighton squad while Solly March, Jurgen Locadia and Jose Izquierdo are also back in contention, but Leon Balogun will miss out.

Ben Chilwell returns from a knock to leave Marc Albrighton (hamstring) and Daniel Amartey (ankle) as Leicester’s only absentees.

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